Verizon, known as having one of the more active lobbying staffs in the technology industry, is again embroiled in a battle with the FCC, this time over broadband access to mobile devices. The FCC is contemplating regulations that would require large mobile carriers, including Verizon and its top competitor AT&T, to open their data networks to smaller mobile carriers.
With an incoming Congress that will favor less regulation, Verizon could find itself increasing Hill activity even more. The proposed change, part of a larger broadband reclassification effort by the FCC, is slated for a vote at the commission’s December meeting. The reclassification is favored by net neutrality proponents, but opposed by carriers. Verizon has battled against the FCC on the overall issue of net neutrality, spending over $14.7million through the first three quarters on lobbying against the issue.
Broadband reclassification and net neutrality are not the only topics with which Verizon takes issue. The company, which has by far the top presence on Internet laws on the Hill, also lobbies Congressmen on issues around taxation, the patent reform, healthcare and international trade regulation, in addition to other efforts.
Verizon’s lobbying efforts don’t stop there. The communications giant is also notoriously involved in state and local lobbying in New York, and a large contributor to campaigns it deems worthwhile. It has also been linked to the fiscally conservative Tea Party in Cincinnati. With the issues of net neutrality and taxes center stage in the new Congress, expect Verizon’s presence on Capitol Hill to increase, not decline, in the coming months.